We welcome today’s report from the Children’s Commissioner which highlights the plight of vulnerable children across the country whose complex needs are not being met. In particular the report shows that 470,000 children – that’s a population equivalent to the size of Liverpool – are living with an adult who is dependent on alcohol or drugs, including 180,000 children aged five and under.

It also highlights the prevalence of the ‘toxic trio’ and the overlap between addiction, domestic abuse and mental health. The life chances of these children can be seriously impaired, and the commissioner is right to point out that the solution does not lie in the expansion of crisis services.


Action on Addiction’s work with children and families through its Moving Parents and Children Together (M-PACT) programme shows the positive improvements that can be achieved in relation to family functioning, coping with problems and also with parenting. This is just one approach that demonstrates that with the right support lasting benefits can be delivered at a fraction of the cost of crisis interventions.

You can read the full report here.